I just published a piece for yeahnah.tv about the now infamous #vaginasoit scandal. It’s about censorship, female genitalia and general Western prudery.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Eighteen vulva mug shots, all lined up in neat little boxes. Like a Rubik’s cube that you can’t rearrange because it’s on the cover of Sydney Uni’s student newspaper, Honi Soit and therefore 2D. The vulvas are staring at you, lips open, pouting, pissed off because they can see your obvious dismay. You are shocked. And this shocks you. So why is it that a few photographs of female genitalia, completely unadorned and decontextualized, cause so much furor both in the psyche of the community and in the judgment of the law?”
When I started blogging, I knew that some bitchy comments and snarky retorts would follow. Not everyone agrees with what I write, and sometimes I do switch to hyperbolic mode because it elicits a stronger reaction. I don’t write timidly using noncommittal verbs. Most of the time my posts are satirical and self-depricating. Sadly, the internet doesn’t seem to get satire, so sometimes I put a little disclaimer at the bottom to alleviate the amount of anonymous phantoms commenting things like “u is a dumb bitch”. Or this baby, on my (obviously satirical) piece about the Eastern suburbs:
It still doesn’t really work that well. But regardless, I was prepared for the collective rage of the internet. I get that typing h8 at randoms in CAPS LOCKS is cheaper than a therapy session. I’m fine with people misinterpreting what I’m saying and calling me a damn Liberal supporter as soon as I criticise a Labour policy. For the record though, I am pretty left wing in terms of politics. I don’t apologise. This is a blog, not a news website. That being said, I don’t rule out any party because I like to look at both sides of every issue. I try to employ this thing called objectivity. E.g. I don’t generally support the Liberal Party but I’d be cool with Malcolm Turnbull as PM because I think he’s a damn good politician with fair ideas and just motives. And most of the time my posts are light hearted and have a dig at everyone, not just the people I fundamentally disagree with. So when I got slammed with this comment, I thought it was pretty funny (albeit misguided, because I agree with most of what ‘so…’ is saying):
So no, its not the comments about my content that really bug me. People can say what they think and be rude and crude, like this guy here:
What bugs me is when people decide that it is okay to start harassing my very character, my body and the groups that I am involved with (luv u Law Revue!) completely decontextualised from my blog because I am as they call it “a dyke”. Because you know what?
Gay hate is NEVER funny, never clever and never socially acceptable, even on your mate’s Facebook wall.
I recently became aware of this charming comment feed. Take a look:
Not only is this incredibly cruel on a personal level (i.e. I know I’m no model but it’s still not very nice to be called “horrific” on the internet), but it completely insults and dehumanises the entire gay community. So I thought I would clarify some things for Mr. M:
1. Women do not ‘turn’ gay because no men will have them
Lesbianism is a way of being, completely unconnected to whether some dude thinks you are hot or not. In fact, it has nothing to do with men. See if your obviously inflated ego can handle that, Mr. M. Most women are gay because they like sleeping with other women, and they connect more with women on an emotional level. I say ‘most’ because I’m not going to rule out the possibility that at least one or two women have turned gay since encountering your disgusting and homophobic personality, Mr. M.
2. Lesbians can have babies
You cleverly point out that there I am holding a baby in my profile picture. This seems incongruous to you because “I can’t even have them”. Pointing out the obvious here, Mr. M, it is I who has the uterus, not you. Lesbian couples can easily have children. It is true that we require sperm from a male donor. But you sir require a willing woman in which to plant your seed, which I highly doubt you’ll find if you are as unthinking to all women as you have been to me. I think it is time you get off your homophobic horse and realise that gay parents care for their children just as much as straight parents. And if you are worried about lesbian parenting resulting in a whole lot of mini-lesbians, rest assured that homosexuality is not genetic. The same percentage of children with gay parents will turn out to be gay as those with straight parents. Check out this website if you decide you want to try out that ‘objectivity’ thing I was talking about earlier.
I was re-watching Looking For Alibrandi the other day (a great film about the struggles of wealth, ethnicity and teen suicide set to a tear-inducing soundtrack of U2 and Australian rock). Once again, I was struck by the protagonist Josie’s perceptive and cynical asides. And those of her slutty friend Sera. And despite being a dramatized version of reality, I felt that Sera pretty much got this right:
“Listen, the poor marry the poor, the wogs marry the wogs, the westies marry the westies and the north shore marry the north shore. And sometimes they marry and crossbreed with the eastern suburbs”.
Except for the bit about people from the eastern suburbs deigning to intermarry with those of the North Shore variety. This is highly uncommon simply because eastern suburbites share a very specific collection of idiosyncrasies, incompatible with the population of any other postcode. Perhaps a Vaucluse chick might date a Hunters Hill guy for a while, but only if he’s caught the school bus across to Scots all his life thus allowing his thorough indoctrination into the ways of the East. However, osmosis can only go so far. She’ll probably break up with him soon so she can free herself up for the banker’s son who lives down the street from her. After all, their parents play tennis together.
For your voyeuristic benefit, my m8 Mads and I have compiled a list of stuff eastern suburbs people like. This way you can spot them if you ever see them past the CBD and you can redirect them home. Feel free to hit up the comments if you think of anything we’ve missed.
Pretending to like Indie Musicians
This is a classic. Being from the eastern suburbs requires a careful balance of letting people know you are rich by the clothes you wear and the gym you go to, but also of keeping in touch with what is ‘rad’ and ‘trendy’ among the real impoverished hipsters. This way you can pay ridiculous amounts for clothes that make you look like an artistic type living off the busking earnings of your folk band, with the comfortable knowledge that they come from Tuchuzy and have never been infected by the grime of an inner-west share house. Along the same lines, you go to Splendour because it is the done thing, not because you like or know the musicians. While there you say things like “I love Chet Faker, they are so good” and “It’s so cute that that Mumford guy started a band with his sons”.
Faux-Generously Bringing Good Wine to Friend’s Houses For Dinner When It’s Actually From Your Parent’s Wine Cellar
Why go to a bottle shop when you’ve got access to the best of every grape in your very own house?
Taking Selfies Eating Boyfriend’s Food
Clearly, girls from the Eastern suburbs do not eat. If they ate, they couldn’t wear Bec and Bridge body-con dresses with the aplomb that they do today. What would a night at The Bucket List be were it not full to the brim with balayage-locked heiresses donning midriff tops and drinking vodka sodas? Luckily though, canny eastern suburbs chicks have come to the realization that they can make other girls more jealous by pretending that they eat crap and still have the body of a pre-pubescent. So comes the ‘boyfriend’s food selfie’, whereby skinny girls who have ordered the side salad take a photo of themselves biting a slice of their male counterpart’s pizza and then post it on Instagram with the caption ‘OMG, so full #carbloading #screwdiets’. Eating disorder successfully hidden: mission accomplished.
The Bondi to Bronte Walk
On a Sunday morning after brunch at Bill’s. Fluoro Lulu Lemon sports tops and Skins are a must.
I don’t mean to say that Eastern suburbs people all have a fondness for refugees who will now be shipped off to live in a tent in PNG where they will likely be sexually assaulted and will then have no recourse to justice because PNG is a developing country with a corrupt legal system (check out this for more reasons why Krudd’s policy sucks). No, what I mean is that eastern suburbs people love people who own boats, yachts, cruisers and fun sea equipment. It’s a common practice to choose friends based on the boat-ownership status of their parents. As an unnamed friend of mine commented this morning, “I really feel I’ve failed in making friends because none of my friends have boats… I need friends with boats”. Were wiser words ever spoken?
Low-Quay Family Dinners
It’s not enough to suggest the local Chinese place for dinner with the rents. Clearly. A conversation you are more likely to hear in Bellevue Hill is this:
“Yeah of course you should come, it’s just our weekly family dinner, friends can come, not a big deal”.
“Awesome, where should I meet you?”
Hating on Kevin Rudd With No Political Knowledge
Clearly eastern suburbs people don’t read the paper, because who has time for that when Elle looks so shiny and new? However, they also know that it’s good to show some political indignation from time to time, to make out that their private school education garnered them some interest in the exercise of their sovereignty. So from time to time they will randomly mutter things like “Bloody Rudd” and “NSW State Politics is such a joke”.
It’s one thing to watch steamy art-house cinema. It’s another to actually perform the deeds shown on screen in real life. One eastern suburbs friend retorted, in response to an accusation that she was averse to the kinky side of life, “I can be, you know…” (She was so unkinky that she couldn’t muster up the kinkiness to say the word ‘kinky’).
Not Understanding the Gonski Reforms so getting your Dad to Invite Mr Gonski Over For Dinner
Because they are golf buddies at Royal Sydney. The same principle follows in all other walks of life. Got a medicine assignment that’s proving a brain-twister? Ask your Mum. Because she’s the head of Brain Surgery at Prince of Wales.
For basics. Starting at $295 for an oversized t-shirt.
Things that are Bespoke, Organic and Hand-crafted
Think monogrammed luggage, eggs from Sean Moran’s mini-farm and smoked Tasmanian duck with a side of Hunter Valley celeriac puree and lime vinaigrette sourced from ‘our neighbour’s’ vegie co-op in Surry Hills.
Like sugar, but without sugar.
Disclaimer: This is satire. Please keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to send hate mail.